Seasonal Climate Outlook Message for July to October 2009

The bottom line

SOI Fluctuates Dave McRae, Qld Climate Change Centre of Excellence, 14/07/09

The 30day average of the SOI has continued to fluctuate and as of the 14th July is a surprising plus 7.7. It will be interesting to monitor whether this is a longer term trend or just a short term fluctuation. You can receive a text message with the latest SOI values sent to your mobile phone. To subscribe to this free service, call me on (07) 4688 1459 or e-mail

As at 30 June 2009, 35 percent of the land area of Queensland is drought declared under State processes. There are three Individually Droughted Properties (IDPs) in the North Burnett.

Drought declarations in Queensland are made following recommendations from the local drought committees to the minister. The local drought committees also make the recommendations to the minister for drought declarations to be revoked. This occurs when in their opinion there has been sufficient rainfall to promote enough pasture growth to permit stocking at 'near-normal' carrying capacities for the given time of year.

For a full list of drought declared regions and a seasonal conditions report go the Long Paddock internet site Other information on the current drought situation and available financial assistance, drought planning advice, social, and community counselling services can be found at or through the DPI Call Centre on 132523.

The next active phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation or MJO is likely to cross northern Australia during the second half of July. The MJO is a band of low air pressure which originates off the east coast of central Africa. It travels eastward across the Indian Ocean and northern Australia roughly every 30 to 60 days. Because of the timing of the MJO the phenomenon is also known as the forty day wave. It can be used as an indicator for the timing of potential rainfall events.

The impact of the MJO on rainfall varies between the different seasons and location. For example the MJO has a greater influence on rainfall throughout northern Australia during summer and southern Australia during winter. For more information on the MJO go to

Last updated: 13 July 2009